Your Book Club Calendar of Books

Happy 2015! We hope the new reading year is treating you well so far (have you read Descent already?), as so many great books lie ahead. The joy of not-yet-read books is boundless, but the possibilities can be dizzying for book clubbers. To help keep you and your club filled with the excitement of book spines yet to be broken, we’re offering up this handy book club calendar of month-by-month recommendations.

Mix and match the months. Read some just for yourself. Go to town with all the reading options. Just be sure that your club reads The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry this year (if you haven’t already). It’s a book about bookstores and book lovers and book clubs  and the people who love them all. It’s the book your club simply must read this year!

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January — The  Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. Have you heard? It’s the book your club simply must read this year! This New York Times bestseller will renew your faith in books and the people who love them. Could there be a better book for a book club?!

February — The Transcriptionist by Amy Rowland. One of the top 50 fiction books of last year, according to The Washington Post, this brand-new paperback explores journalism, ethics and how words can isolate us in an increasingly connected world.

March — The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. You can have such fun — and great discussion — with an art-themed club meeting for this one. The details of how forgeries are made will captivate you, as will the choices the characters make in pursuit of Art with a capital “A”. (Hint: the e-book edition includes a free preview of B.A.’s upcoming novel, The Muralist. See November for details.)

April — A Tender Struggle: Story of a Marriage by Krista Bremer. Krista, a surfer girl from California, and Ismail, a Muslim man of faith from an impoverished village in Libya, build their family from two very different cultures. But aren’t all marriages bicultural on some level? The conversation will flow about this memoir.

May — Orhan’s Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian. This beautiful debut novel will have you wondering what secrets your family has hidden away and how they have affected your sense of identity and legacy. Flashing between the final days of the Ottoman Empire and 1990s Los Angeles, Orhan’s Inheritance will have you enthralled in both worlds.

June – The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor. Whether your club takes a summer break or not, this is the book to captivate you. Hannah vanishes; Lovell must examine their marriage; and eve the smallest decisions have great effect. “I absolutely couldn’t put it down,” said Stephen King (yes, that Stephen King).  

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July – Dinner with Buddha by Roland Merullo. This is the book to read on your summer road trip. Otto and Rinpoche are on their own road trip of unexpected discovery. This follow-up to the beloved and bestselling Breakfast with Buddha is full of humor, wisdom and insight.

August – The High Divide by Lin Enger. What does it mean to know someone, truly know him? Is a man defined by the time you’ve spent with him and the kindness you have witnessed? Or does his history make him who he is? Lin Enger explores these questions beautifully in a truly American story of the High Plains in the late 19th century.

September – Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. Have you read Americanah? You enjoyed it, didn’t you? Go back and read Chimamanda Adiche’s debut novel, Purple Hibiscus. Kambili’s tender, teenage voice will open up new worlds for you, just as new worlds are opening up for her.

October – The Remedy for Love by Bill Roorbach. This unusual love story explores what happens when two strangers find themselves snowbound in Maine — no heat and no pretense. As they reveal their true selves, Eric and Danielle’s witty, sexy banter will have you turning the pages fast enough to generate some heat.

November – The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro. We can’t show you the cover for this book just yet. (There’s a familiar book cover holding its place in the photo array above. Did you hear? Your book club simply must read The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry!) But we can tell you that if you enjoyed the bestselling The Art Forger — so many of you did! — then you’re going to devour The Muralist. As one early reader said, “It’s exactly the book you want it to be.”

December – Descent by Tim Johnston. “Read this astonishing book.” The Washington Post said that, not us. Though we’d tell you the same thing. It’s a literary thriller with so much depth, emotion and fantastic writing, that you won’t be able to stop reading. The ending will have your heart racing.

*If your club has already read the recommended title for a particular month, we do have an alternate to suggest. Can you guess what it is? We might have mentioned it before. Once or 43 times. Yup, go for The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry. It’s the book your club simply must read this year. Really.

Happy 2015 book clubbing!

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5 comments on “Your Book Club Calendar of Books

  1. Love this calendar! Thank you!

    I just read a the rather haunting novel ‘The Transcriptionist’ by Amy Rowland. It is a beautifully written book — a meditation on words that illuminate vs. words that obfuscate, nature, belonging and not belonging — on legacies, and on our fleeting, sometimes crazy obsessions — revealing that what might appear crazy often has its own inner logic while mundane fascinations that pass mostly unnoticed can be signs of disconnection from the promptings of our own hearts. It is, as well, a pondering on seeing and not-seeing, truth and deception, hiding and revelation, life and death, imprisonment, freedom, ritual and reverence, patience and fortitude; on the monsters we create in our minds and on the true lives of animals; on cruelty and kindness. The book seems to state that while we are a culture that records everything, we remember very little and honor less. It is, I think, so well worth reading, I have been recommending it to everyone and will read it again — more slowly this time.

  2. I’ve read, “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin, and absolutely LOVED it!

  3. Our book club (80+ strong on our email list) selected this “love letter to the world of books” for our December 2014 meeting. It’s about a thirty-nine year old grieving widow, A.J. Fikry, owner of a small bookstore on a remote island off the coast of New England. It’s a story of overcoming depression and bitterness to give his heart and name to an abandoned child and trusting in a second chance for love. The combination of Maya, the intelligent and precocious two-year old and Amelia, the thirty-one year old single publisher’s sales representative, provide a solid footing for A.J. to transition from a man bent on “drinking himself to death” to the toast of the Island’s book community. We see a boorish A.J. who detests anything from postmortem narrators to children’s books and adding to the flabbergast he thinks writers are “unkempt, narcissistic, silly, and generally unpleasant” in a livelihood surrounded by authored hardcovers and paperbacks. Alongside the ‘new daddy-new love’ story, a cast of minor characters provides entertaining sub-plots, one involving his sister-in-law, the mysterious theft of a treasured possession and the stories tied to it, and her writer husband’s deceitfulness. Another, a police chief expanding his reading horizons, forming a book club for his fellow officers, and finding love and skeletons in the closet co-existing in the same bedroom; a book-signing event featuring a Hemingway-department store Santa faux author reveals another mystery. There’s a heartrending end to a new way of life, the beginning of another, and a dream of the future. Although tragic incidents frame the narrative, the story is uplifting and is chocked full of humorous lines and observations.
    We loved it!!

  4. Thanks for the wonderful book club suggestions for the months ahead. I’ve already had the pleasure of reading “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry”, an endearing book about a bookstore owner. A perfect read for anyone who loves books. The story is filled with the tragedies and triumphs of ordinary people while celebrating the wonderful world of books. Don’t miss it.

  5. Thanks so much for the calendar and suggestions for book club reads. We have an eclectic group of teachers in our club with many different interests, so it is helpful to have some book suggestions. Loved The Storied LIfe of A.J. Fikry!

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